Derek Boogaard, who has been out with a concussion since Dec. 9, will have a very difficult time returning this season.
The former Wild enforcer, who was signed to a four-year, $6.4-million free agent contract last summer, is still not symptom-free after he was decked in a fight with Ottawa's Matt Carkner. "We're trying to stimulate him, get him moving around, but he still doesn't feel well," said coach John Tortorella. "He's not close."
Given that the 6-foot-7 Boogaard has not skated, Tortorella couldn't even imagine a timeline for a comeback. Boogaard, who was 1-1-2 in 22 games, was playing less than five minutes a game in his 6th season, and although he had dropped 20 pounds, the coaching staff was trying to get him in better shape.
There are 13 forwards on the roster currently, and injured Ryan Callahan, Erik Christensen and Vinny Prospal all expected back. Given that, as well as taking into consideration an undetermined time for conditioning, Tortorella said "it'll be very difficult" for the 28-year-old to find a spot in the lineup.
About a week ago, Boogaard, who earlier in the season also missed several games with a hand injury, answered a question on his health with a smile and this: "You'll have to ask the coach and GM."